TW Walsh, ex of Pedro the Lion, produced two of my favorite singer-songwriter albums of the past decade, and he's got a new project, The Soft Drugs. Lucky for you, he's offering MP3s aplenty: a couple cuts from the EP, In Moderation, plus monthly demos. How is the EP? I'm still digesting. At first, I thought Walsh's fantastic, Neil Young-inflected voice, full of plaintive yearning, wasn't always used to its full potential on these lean, mid-tempo indie rock songs. It's slowly growing on me. I'd recommend downloading "Don't Sweat It", my favorite cut so far.
Those two albums, How We Spend Our Days (1999) and Blue Laws (2001), don't appear to be available from TW, and he offers no downloads, but Amazon has sound clips for Blue Laws, so do yourself a favor and listen to a few. The lone reviewer calls it "great, rich, aching, American music" and I can't say it much better. It's to Walsh's credit that I remember Blue Laws as a very stripped-down record, but re-listening to it now, with headphones, I'm struck by the careful layers of production, strings and vocal harmonies backing up his wonderful songs, fleshing them out while keeping things amazingly intimate.
The Soft Drugs also also contribute a song to the new Silkworm tribute record, An Idiot to Not Appreciate Your Time: The Songs of Silkworm. They perform "Give Me Some Skin", and Matt and Bubba Kadane (Bedhead, The New Year) play "Clean'd Me Out". It's only eight bucks for two discs, and possibly worth it for those two songs.
MP3: The Soft Drugs - Don't Sweat It